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Japanese American Heritage

Old Good Things

Issue:
November 24, 2020

What are we going to do with all this old stuff?

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Nikkei Diaspora: Oshogatsu

Issue:
June 14, 2020

Starting the new year with friends and family... around the world.

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New Years Traditions

Issue:
October 21, 2020

Counting down to midnight is a worldwide tradition of New Years Eve. We asked our friends what else they do to ring in the new year, every year.

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Osechi Top 8

Issue:
January 2, 2021

Read one author's family ranking of traditional Japanese New Year's foods - the Otera Osechi Top 8, ranked by how satisfying the prep experience is.

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Christmas Cards: Yea or Nay?

Issue:
June 11, 2020

Christmas cards feel like a holiday staple, but not everyone feels the ~spirit~ of the exchange. Are you #TeamChristmasCards??

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Hearing (And Sharing) Our Grandparents' Stories

Issue:
June 11, 2020

Deep down, we know it's important to make an effort to hear our grandparents' stories, but starting those conversations can sometimes be challenging. Here's another reminder that it's definitely worth trying.

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Mottainai: Culturally Embedded Sustainability

Issue:
May 20, 2020

More than just a word, mottainai holds deep cultural and historical meaning. Let's explore how this word can be a critical rallying call for this generation.

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GAME TIME: JA Cranium

Issue:
September 5, 2020

Trivia, pictionary, origami, and charades -this game has it all! Test out your knowledge of the Japanese American community with this unique take on the beloved game Cranium. For ages 16 and up.

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Get Your Dance On – Olympic Style

Issue:
May 1, 2020

Learn the background of the popular Olympic odori dance, Tokyo Gorin Ondo!

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Kotonks & Buddhaheads: How Japanese American Experiences Differ on the Mainland and in Hawai'i

Issue:
May 3, 2020

As a Japanese American who grew up with family ties in Hawai'i but came of age in California, I've encountered some cultural differences based on experiences and history. Here, I attempt to unearth some of that history.

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Diaspora: An Infographic

Issue:
May 20, 2020

Where exactly is the Japanese diaspora? Check out our visual depiction of where the Nikkei community has settled around the world.

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Nikkei Diaspora: A Photo Essay

Issue:
June 14, 2020

A collection of photos capturing family, friendship, cultural preservation, isolation, and the Japanese diaspora.

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Normalizing the term "Nikkei"

Issue:
May 23, 2020

As Nikkei Japanese Americans, some of us are used to calling ourselves "JAs." However, the term may unintentionally divide our community, posing the question of if we should begin to normalize the term "Nikkei" instead.

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What's Your Obon Known For?

Issue:
June 28, 2020

By no means an "official" list - peruse through our crowd-sourced list to explore the new, and reminisce on the familiar from obon's across the country.

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“Isn’t It Good?”: How an Obon Dance was Created for Community

Issue:
May 3, 2020

"Ei Ja Nai Ka" is a popular obon dance loved by many, but unlike other dances, it's not directly from Japan. Learn more about how PJ Hirabayashi of San Jose Taiko created the dance to be for the Japanese American community.

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How One of the Largest Obons Celebrates at Home

Issue:
April 26, 2020

This year, many temples and community centers are faced with the big challenge of capturing the spirit of obons and matsuris while at home. San Jose Obon's committee member Matt Ogawa shares how the largest obon in North America transitioned to having "Obon@Home."

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More Than Just A Name: Embracing Our Names with Our Culture

Issue:
May 23, 2020

When I was younger, my Japanese middle name was a source of shame, especially since I was surrounded by kids with American names. Now, I've learned how our names are innately tied to our culture.

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Family Ki (Tree) Investigation

Issue:
April 26, 2020

This month as we celebrate our heritage, we have assigned you a mission: find out more about your ancestors. We can take advantage of this time to share stories about our families and reconnect with relatives.

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Are These Japanese American Antiques and Heirlooms Familiar to You?

Issue:
May 20, 2020

We've collected and listed 20 of the most commonly mentioned Japanese American antiques and heirlooms that families have found in their cupboards, shelves, kitchens, and attics.

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